Proposals to build a gas-fired power station on land at Rookery South Pit, near Marston Moreteyne, Stewartby, Millbrook and Lidlington, have been unveiled by Millbrook Power Ltd, a UK energy project developer.
The proposed project will invest tens of millions of pounds into the local economy, support 150 jobs during construction and create 15 new full-time, skilled jobs when operational, says the developer.
Next week (June 5th - 6th - 7th), Millbrook Power will host exhibitions in surrounding villages to introduce its proposal to the local communities on June 5, 6 and 7.
These will be:
Thursday, June 5,at Lidlington Village Hall, 4pm until 7.30pm.
Friday, June 6 at Stewartby Village Hall, 3pm until 7pm.
Saturday, June 7, Marston Moreteyne Village Hall, 10am until 1pm.
At the exhibitions, members of the Millbrook Power project team will explain how the proposals will be taken forward and how the public consultation process will evolve. Consultation with local communities and organisations, including Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council as well as the parish councils in the vicinity of the site, will be a part of the consenting process for the project, alongside the detailed environmental impact assessments and technical studies that will be undertaken over the coming months.
People and local businesses in the area are being notified of the exhibitions by letter this week and via an advertisement in the local press. Information about the project and Millbrook Power can also be viewed online via www.millbrookpower.co.uk
Rookery South Pit is a brownfield site allocated for development by Central Bedfordshire Council. The site was formerly a clay pit that was used for the nearby and now redundant Stewartby Brickworks.
The proposed power generation plant will take gas from the nearby National Gas Transmission System and use it to produce electricity. This electricity will feed into the National Grid, which also runs very close to the site. The power station will produce up to 299 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to supply the equivalent of around 400,000 homes, at times when demand is highest.
The company says it will have low emissions and, if permitted and built, would help strengthen and secure the UK’s energy supply by providing back up to intermittent energy that is generated from renewable sources (primarily wind and solar). The Government has recognised that the type of power station being proposed will be essential to support the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.
The generating plant and its related energy infrastructure would be designed to operate flexibly (i.e. not always running) and would produce electricity for no more than 1500 hours per year. Once operational, there would be minimal traffic to and from the site, they say.
Chris McKerrow, Director at Millbrook Power said: “This will be an ultra-modern and clean facility and a very significant investment in the local economy. The cost of the power project is in the region of £200m. We will do our very best to ensure that our project will cause the minimum disturbance locally, both during its construction and its operation. Its operation will be subject to stringent environmental and emission regulations.”
Speaking about the forthcoming exhibitions, Mr McKerrow said: “The exhibitions are just the start of the information sharing and public consultation process that will help shape our plans.”
Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council have been briefed on the proposal, which given its size, is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. It therefore means that Millbrook Power will submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the UK’s Planning Inspectorate, with a final decision to be taken by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. The local authorities and the local Parish Councils will be consultees in the consenting process.
An application to the Planning Inspectorate is likely to be made by Millbrook Power in the first quarter of 2015, and subject to the outcomes of the consenting process as well as financing, the power project could commence operations in 2019/20.